【主题】How Much Do Tuition Subsidies Promote College Access? Evidence from Community College Taxing Districts
【报告人】Isaac McFarlin, Jr. (U. of Florida and NBER)
【时间】2022年12月6日 周二上午 10:00-11:30
【地点】ZOOM会议ID：847 0962 4310，密码：069412
【摘要】Economists have long been interested in understanding the effects of across-the-board tuition subsidies on college enrollment. One challenge for identifying the effects of tuition subsidies on college enrollments is that tuition price is endogenously determined. A second challenge is accurately measuring the tuition prices individuals face when making decisions to attend college. We exploit community college taxing district boundaries that generate sharp spatial variation in community college price, where in-district residents are offered tuition subsidies for attending the local community college, while those who do not live in college districts face the full tuition sticker price. To distinguish the effects of tuition subsidies, we incorporate restricted data from the American Community Survey, which precisely characterizes individual residential locations at the census block level, with a boundary-discontinuity strategy that compares college enrollment rates of 18 to 24-year-olds within the same school district and same census block group but who live on opposite sides of college district boundaries. Our main finding suggests that the availability of a $1,000 implicit tuition subsidy (2016 dollars) to attend the local college causes a statistically significant increase of 4.2 percentage points in the probability of enrolling at a public college with little evidence of substitution away from private colleges. We further uncover strong evidence that offers of tuition subsidies increase the probability of employment among young adults while lifting some young adults out of poverty. This paper contributes to an ongoing discussion on the importance of the “geography of opportunity.” Specifically, it sheds light on to what extent does where a person lives shapes life outcomes.